Source: Agricultural Research Service
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are working with chemical signals to regulate a wide range of bodily functions in aphids to help control them without pesticides.
The effect triggered by the chemical signal is normally turned off when the neuropeptide is broken down by enzymes in the body. The scientists are developing neuropeptide mimics, or analogues, with slightly altered molecular structures that will not break down. The goal is to kill the pest by disrupting its digestion, water intake or some other biological function.